Love Hurts

There have been many a time where I have found my self muttering, “…best laid plans of mice and men…”  Of course, this usually after a plan of mine has gone awry.  Things going awry is the perfect theme for this review…

The Plaza Cinema Cafe has been offering select movies for free on Wednesday and Thursday nights.  Usually these movies are more “independent” in nature and give an excellent opportunity to grow audiences.  So imagine my surprise when I found them offering 2012 as the “free movie of the week.”  I had been reluctant to spend money on movie, but free tickets will convince me to go.  I got off work around 8:30 on the Thursday that <shudder> Twilight <shudder> was premiering at midnight.  I make my way downtown, park, and head up to get my ticket.  Now the website had said 10:15; I got there around 9:15.  I should have known something was up when they wanted to wave me right in.  Instead I ran across the street and grabbed a couple of slices fromGino’s Pizza (highly recommend).  I wandered back up around 9:45 and was told that the movie had started at 9:00.  Of course it wasn’t posted and the first box office person never said anything.  So they let me go to any other movie starting within the next half-hour for free.  I saw Love Hurts starting and remembered that it had been part of the Orlando Film Festival a week prior.  So, concessions in hand and still no physical ticket, I walked into a theater with only one other patron.

Love Hurts is a story about a man too dense to realize that his marriage is falling apart before it is too late.  What follows is his convoluted path to finding answers to everything.  Richard E. Grant (no relation to Hugh) plays the title character; most might remember him best as the villain in Hudson Hawk.  Carrie Anne Moss, notably absent since the Matrix series ended, plays Grant’s dissatisfied wife.  After attempting to get through to her husband one last time, Moss leaves Grant and move in with her friend played by Camryn Manheim.  This leaves their almost grown son left to pick up the pieces of a man so heartbroken that he wallows around singing (very off-key) Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is A Place On Earth.”  After a makeover and some lessons on “love em/ leave em” from the son, Grant proceeds to get involved with 4 women (2 being twins).

The director and writer felt the need to make this a mirror story.  As the son coaches the father, the son soon needs coaching in love.  I felt that this was an unnecessary addition to the story.  It also forced a rushed ending that was unsatisfying to those wanting a full story.  The casting of supporting actors was good; I liked seeing Janeane Garafalo appearing on film again and Jenna Elfman did not annoy me this time around.

My advice: check it out on cable if you happen to run across it; even with its flaws, I think I saw a better movie than what I intended on seeing…

Mickey Donald Goofy: The Three Musketeers

When Disney announced in the mid-90s that they were going to start making direct-to-video animation releases, I was not a happy camper.  I felt that the very idea cheapened what the Disney name brought to the field of animation.  Of course it did not help that 99% of these releases were going to be sequels to timeless classics.  That went against what Walt always talked about, which was there should be no animated sequel except for Fantasia.  That said, there are always exceptions.

The Three Musketeers is a familiar tale, and in my opinion, should be required reading for 4-6 graders.  While many versions have been seen on film and TV, none have featured the core characters of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy.  The nice aspect of our story is that our heroes are inspired by D’Artagan and his pals versus actually playing those roles.  Mickey  and his pals are rescued as kids by the real musketeers and are inspired to try to become musketeers.  Blocking their progress is our favorite Mickey foil, Pete.  Hijinks ensue as we welcome other favorites such as Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle; even Pluto is there to help out.  Our guide through the story is a turtle who evokes memories of the Allan A’Dale character from Robin Hood.

The truly imaginative part of the feature is the pairing of lyrics to some of the greatest pieces of classical music.  These lyrics help stitch together our scenes, as well as help bring the environment to full color.  I also enjoyed the fact that all of the originals were gathered together for this feature.

The DVD had the typical Disney features for kids.

My advice:  Check this out sometime, even if you don’t have kids…